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10 Sewing Ideas to Earn You Money

Updated on December 14, 2017
Cal-gal profile image

Meredith has an entrepreneurial spirit and is eager to share creative ways to help you generate income to achieve your ideal life.

Make money sewing
Make money sewing | Source

Sewing for money

Do you love to sew? Perhaps you have a machine but felt you didn't have the time to use it. If you knew that you could earn cash by sewing, would that change your mind? With a little creative thinking, you could turn your sewing machine into a money making machine. Below I have compiled a list of ideas for you to consider. Some may be more suited to you than others. Take a look and see if there are any that could start you on your way to earning money from your hobby.

It is often thought that tailors or fashion designers are the only ones that can generate an income from sewing but this isn't the case. All you need to know is that with a bit of thought and persistence you can do it as well.

Clothing alterations
Clothing alterations | Source

Mending and Alterations

Mending clothes for people. This is an obvious one but not the only way. Although mending or altering clothes may be easy for you, there are many people who can't or won't attempt simple sewing procedures such as putting on patches, replacing zippers or even hemming. This is where your services come in. Often people will have clothes that they love or that are hardly worn and need to have some changes. Perhaps they have lost weight and need to have their garment taken in a bit.

Another type of alteration is making or changing clothes for disabled people. Often people with a disability will find certain types of clothing difficult to wear. The addition of Velcro or other opening could ease this problem. For example, my husband is a below knee amputee and if he needs to adjust his prosthetic, it would be easier to remove the lower part of his pants leg using Velcro or a zip. Often it is difficult to find articles that are exactly what he needs. With a few minor adjustments by a seamstress though, they are perfect.

Car and furniture upholstery

Car Upholstery or Furniture

For this type of work, you'll need an industrial machine. Although your standard machine may cope temporarily it won't hold up to the rigors if this is going to be your business. If this is going to be your area of expertise, invest in a more robust machine.

I knew a man, in England, who had a small workshop behind his house. He not only did upholstery he also did car interiors. He had a love for classic VW's and if you were to go to a VW show in the UK, more than two-thirds of the cars there would have had their interiors done by this gentleman, such was the skill of this man.

Make and sell bikinis
Make and sell bikinis | Source


Bikinis, you see them everywhere. What you don't see are unusual bikinis. The style of bikinis is pretty much the same as they have been for 40 years. Fabrics may have changed but the styles are more or less the same few since I was young. So how can you make them different?

To make bikinis that will sell and stand out from the crowd, you need to do things a bit special. Use ribbons, different fabric, buttons, zips, chains etc. Adornment is the answer. If you asked most women, which they have more of, shoes or bikinis, I think they would say bikinis. Because the amount of fabric you will use is small, you can get quite a few bikinis from a small section of fabric. Some of the fabrics I have seen are fur, leather and even tilapia skin!

This is one of the trending items I am seeing in Brazil at the moment, unusual and unique handmade bikinis.

Pet Clothes

For many people they love to see their pets in clothes. Some are for warmth and others are for decoration. This can be a huge market. Let your imagination run wild. Opening a shop on places like Etsy or Ebay to promote your new venture could earn well for you. The type of customer who will buy from you will offer repeat business if they are satisfied with your product, service and price.

Customizable Sewing Business Cards
Customizable Sewing Business Cards | Source

Sewing Business Cards

If you want your new sewing business to be taken seriously, consider purchasing quality business cards. If you have a professional looking card, your potential customer will be assured that your services will also be professional. The card will pay for itself, as you can charge more for a quality service.

Plus size clothes

Make clothes for large men and women: You may think that there are clothes available in the stores. This isn't always the case. I have a friend here in Brazil who has her clothes made because she is a large woman. The clothes she wants are not available to her. Although these may be for sale in the USA this isn't the case in other countries. Offer to ship worldwide.

For many women, they have one style of dress they prefer and it can be easily replicated. Look for niche markets such as this.

Memory Quilts

These are becoming very popular as a way of commemorating an event such as graduation, weddings or even a death. Often people will use up t-shirts or provide photos for printing onto fabric. Offer your services online or via a Facebook page.

Memory quilts can be any size, they don't need to be a quilt for a bed, they can be for a wall hanging, or even on a pillow.

Handbags and Purses

Handmade purses
Handmade purses | Source

Sewing Handbags and Purses

Women and handbags, they go together like peanut butter and jelly. If you make something unusual, people will buy it, go for something unique and your bags and purses will sell. Places to sell them will be on Etsy, or at craft fairs. You will have to have many if you are going to be selling at a crafts fair because they sometimes last a full weekend and you don't want to run low on stock.

Be your own model. Make sure you are using your own product and when people comment on it, give them a business card.

Custom Christmas stockings
Custom Christmas stockings | Source



Who doesn't love to wear something different at Christmas time? This is your time to shine and become creative. Whether you are sewing or gluing or a combination of both, this is a time when people buy handmade, one of a kind articles.

It isn't just clothing though, think about decorations such as sewn door wreaths, table accessories such as place mats, napkins and table runners. Stockings and Christmas ornaments could turn your white Christmas into a green one!

Kitchen Accessories

Make kitchen cooker covers: I knew a woman who used to make these in England. She had started out making some for her traditional AGA which is similar to a Rayburn stove. A friend of hers visited and commented on them, telling her that she should try and sell them. Now my friend was a whiz with her sewing machine and was also a business woman. She had experience building a business from scratch and selling it on. She knew a good opportunity when she heard it. She made a few samples for a chic boutique and they loved them. Did she stop there though? Of course not. She began selling via Ebay all over the world. Her biggest client base was the USA where they loved receiving cooker covers with British farmhouse scenes. My friend was well into her 60's when she began this. She started at her kitchen table and moved upstairs to a spare room where she organized it into a small cottage industry.


Although you may only think of costumes at Halloween, this is a year round source of income. Costume parties and don't forget theater plays all require costumes. Some will be more elaborate than others though. Why not turn your spare room into a costume store! This can be a very profitable venture as you are paid many times for the same garment.

© 2014 Meredith Davies

Could you sew as a part-time job?

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    • Cal-gal profile image

      Meredith Davies 3 years ago

      Glad you liked them. There are so many creative ways and the internet has now provded a perfect outlet for selling.

    • Beautylicous profile image

      Trina 3 years ago from Texas

      Great ideas thanks for sharing